Photo of Nothing or The Bookplate by CRAIG, Edward Gordon.

CRAIG, Edward Gordon.

Nothing or The Bookplate

London, Chatto & Windus,

Book sold

Imperial 8vo. (262 x 173 mm.) bound in fours. Original crimson buckram, the spine and upper board gilt-lettered; [10], 26, [2]pp. + 51 facsimile bookplates, (numbered 1-12,12a,13-50), tipped-in on handmade paper, untrimmed, some colour printed, preceded by an actual woodcut bookplate tipped-in, depicting a Roman soldier, [Ex Libris Jan C De Vos,] signed in pencil to the lower right margin by Edward Gordon Craig. Two copies of a woodcut bookplate for W[alter]. H. Downing, author of The Last Ridge, a memoir of WWI., inserted loose.

Limited edition of 280 numbered copies, of which 250 were for sale. This copy numbered in ink, ‘38’.

Provenance: 1. Ralph Dickinson, with his engraved armorial bookplate to the front pastedown (Ratione Duce Vincas); 2. Lloyd-Tyrell Kenyon, 5th Baron Kenyon (1917-1993), inscribed in ink to the upper margin of the f.f.e.p. ‘Kenyon Gredington. November 1939’.

Printed by the Curwen Press, this attractive publication comprises one actual woodcut bookplate and fifty-one facsimile bookplates originally engraved in either wood or metal by Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966). Examples include those for himself, his wife, Ellen Terry, as well as those for his children. Five short essays by Craig muse on what constitutes a pleasing bookplate, and the best medium for creating one, Craig’s preferred medium was the woodcut. In his foreword, he writes, ‘For bookplates once served me in good stead. I was a young man, and wanted to fight for a better Theatre, and, to do so, wanted to get away from the old one and study. To give up my engagement would mean giving up a regular £8 a week. The bookplate in part made it possible for me to do this. ... Wood-engraving and drawing for journals helped me too, but bookplates were the chief source of income for me. So I always remember this, and always feel grateful toward the whole world of bookplates and bookplate collectors, users and makers. This is all I offer as an apology for reprinting the little things - they are old friends.’

A checklist of all the bookplates designed by Craig between 1895 and 1912 is provided by his son, Edward ‘Teddy’ Carrick.

Fletcher and Rood. Edward Gordon Craig: A Bibliography. 1924: A29 (a).

Stock number: 1145